The Corporate Social Graph: The Scorpion and the Frog


It has been a while since I posted about the Corporate Social Graph and felt it was time for an update with a focus on transparency. The overarching premise of the CSG is that online businesses are expected to behave more like individuals and that they need to inhabit social outposts on the Internet (abiding to the established behaviors of that venue), in the end building a social graph for that businesses.

When a business sets out to create a social graph they need to select the right venues to participate in, given their brand and resources in-house. Is your business a Facebook business or a Friendster business? (Yes Friendster still exists and is doing quite well with certain international demographics.) Does your business need a Twitter strategy or is it better served by Brightkite’s locational focus? (Kogi should use Brightkite.) Know thy business and be true to your nature.

The other aspect of being true to one’s nature is insuring that the person who is handling these mediums is the right person.

  • If Facebook is who we are, then you need to have someone that is excellent at describing the business in a real way. (Sorry marketing and communications folks. Marko-babble is dead due to transparency and search engine optimization.)
  • If Twitter is what we are doing, then you need someone(s) that is on the go, talking about their latest endeavour. (The service that enable multiple people update one Twitter account is called CoTweet. Yes; two people could update one account but that wouldn’t be transparent, now would it?)
  • If Brightkite is where you are, then you need someone who is in transit most of the time; not in traffic but going to interesting places.

As I’ve said before, in  some cases this does not have to be an employee. It could be a rabid fan and depending on your budget and your level of trust, they may be your best answer. Either way, the proclivity to communicate the who, what and where needs to be inherent in that person’s nature. Don’t make one person try to do all things. It won’t work. Having multiple people work on representing the company will build brand depth and is a better strategy. If you don’t have the people to do this then you should seriously question, whether you should be participating in this part of the social graph.

I also want to be clear that I’m not saying a business can’t use these outposts “inefficiently” or as simple distribution. You can, however you’ll be missing the core of the Corporate Social Graph; interaction.

For those of you unfamiliar with the story of The Scorpion and the Frog, it can be found here.

1 comment